Bottle Bill Victories

Vermont’s Bottle Bill program has long been hailed as the state’s most successful and popular recycling program. But since the law was first passed back in 1972, the state had been giving away unclaimed deposits – estimated to be worth well over $2 million per year – to beverage manufacturers and distributors.

For decades, VPIRG worked to end the giveaway of millions of dollars in unclaimed bottle deposits to the beverage industry and put that money to work for Vermonters.

Finally, in May 2018, Governor Phil Scott signed S.285, which reclaims the deposits and puts that money toward helping clean up Vermont’s water ways starting in October 2019. This was a victory many years in the making – the result of hard work and grassroots advocacy by countless VPIRG staffers, members, supporters and allies.

We’re proud to have played an instrumental role in achieving this important victory, and will continue to fight to broaden the scope of the Bottle Bill to include wine bottles as well as a number of containers that didn’t exist when the law was passed more than 45 years ago, such as water bottles and sports drink containers.